Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hawk 100 Race Report

Everything went well. I had little or no trouble until the last 3-5 miles. My right shin (anterior tibialis) was very sore. I was able to run-walk up until this point. I think the last 3 miles in from Lake Henry took about 2 hours. I should have finished at 26 hours but managed to eeek out a run across the line at 27:29. I am very pleased with my time. Next up, the Zion 100 in April with any luck.

Flickr Collection

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pre-Race Checklist

I'm running my first 100 miler this weekend ( so I have been doing a lot of reading. Here's a great list of checklists.

100 Miler Check List

Experience From - Andy Holak Tracey Grzegorczyk Ray Zirblis Dave Olney ,

Andy Holak
I'm wondering if any of you have an organized checklist of what you take for a 100 mile trail run. I have a feeling that many of you do. I've always been a pretty laid back runner, not stressing out a lot about what I have or my equipment, just running. As someone said recently, running really is a pretty simple thing. But....after three years of ultrarunning, running races of 50 miles or less, I'm attempting my first 100 miler! So, I'm actually getting a little excited/nervous/stressed(just a little). I don't want to forget anything. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Tracey Grzegorczyk
I thought it might be helpful to post an old list I have of things I've used in Ultimate Ultra Crew Kits. Whether left as a drop bag, or carried by one of your crew, this kit can get you through most tight spots and back to running. While all this stuff can be thrown into a shoebox or grocery bag, the ideal way to pack it is in a fishing-tackle box. Yes, I'm serious... all those little trays makes it much easier to find what you're looking for without wasting time.
From memory, so I'm sure I'm leaving out something important, the list included:

  • ibuprofin, asprin and tylenol
  • tums rolaids and/or pepto-bismol
  • rocksalt and potassium tablets, electrolyte tablets, and/or quinine capsules (if you can find them);
  • alcohol wipes and antibiotic ointment
  • compeed or nu-skin
  • moleskin
  • ace bandage
  • band-aids
  • sports tape & foam pre-wrap
  • scissors
  • safety pins (& swiss army knife)
  • bandanas or cotton rags
  • baby wipes
  • tissues
  • vaseline, runner's lube or bag balm
  • sunscreen and lip balm
  • matches
  • gu or other gel packets.
Other custom items might include:

  • extra socks
  • extra flashlight batteries and bulbs
  • beesting kit and sudafed
  • tecnu
  • cool n' fit spray
  • extra water and ice, etc. depending on the terrain and distance.
I've mostly used kits like this for runs of 50 miles or longer, or at track ultras of 12-24 hours, but it wouldn't hurt to stow it in the trunk of your car for any ultra race. Covers most things that might happen at an ultra: falling, feeling sick, blisters, muscle cramps, heat, general pain."

Ray Zirblis
This is going to come across as much more organized than I actually am, but maybe it will help you out. I break my stuff down into mental catagories that become piles on my bedroom floor, and then get put into stuff sacks for the car, as follows:

  • What I need before the race (directions, alarm clock, breakfast, pins to attach my race number, etc.),
  • What I will be wearing to start with
  • What I'll be carrying to start with (maybe a belt, water bottle, belt pouch with electrolyte caps, tape, compeed, meds, car key, a little emergency food, etc.)
  • What I'll need if it rains ( laundry bag, rain coat, extra shoes, socks)
  • What I'll need for night time (small lights, batteries)
  • Stuff I'll want after the run such as a change of clothing, shower stuff, comfortable shoes. I also bring a bag or box of medical and repair items (like various tapes, Tiger Balm, NSAIDS, shears, foot powder, vasoline, and the like) for taping up before the run and getting me home after it.
One final catagory is sleeping and camping gear if needed. Excepting the last catagory, this more or less can all fit into a medium to large duffle bag. Then, on the spot, I make final decisions and decide on what goes in the drop bags. I rarely have had a crew, but if I did I'd consider pit stop items such as a folding chair, flashlights, maps, money, etc. And I've almost always got five or six bottles of water rolling around on the car floor.
If I am flying, I do the same catagories with a 3rd of the items, so that I can bring my luggage carry-on. My dream is to be like my pal, Newton Baker, who goes to a hundred miler with a small bag that wouldn't hold me on an afternoon trip to the gym, but I'm not there yet. To me, packing light is an exercise like being concise in writing. It takes me lots of time, and I rarely do it for runs.

Dave Olney
Being an obsessive planner, I have an ultra checklist that I've been refining for the past 15+ years. Of course, you have to customize it to your own preferences and the kind of "stuff" you use, but here's my list:
1. Items

  • airline tickets/itinerary
  • alarm clock
  • alcohol wipes
  • bandannas
  • batteries & bulbs
  • blanket & tarp
  • bluejeans & belts
  • bottled water
  • bottles, fanny pack
  • bottles, hand-strap
  • camera & film
  • cap (knit)
  • cap (running)
  • cap (street)
  • dop kit
  • drink powder
  • drop bags
  • energy bars
  • fanny pack
  • first aid kit
  • flashlights
  • fleece
  • folding chair
  • food & drinks
  • gaiters
  • gel bottle
  • gel flasks
  • gel holster(s)
  • gloves
  • headlamp
  • hydrocortisone
  • ice chest
  • jackets
  • knife/scissors
  • maps
  • money & wallet
  • motel info
  • muscle relaxant
  • pace/split times
  • pajamas
  • powder bottles
  • race info & maps
  • rain shell
  • reading glasses
  • reading materials
  • rubber gloves
  • safety pins
  • shirts, long-sleeve
  • shirts, polypro
  • shirts, short-sleeve
  • shoes & backups
  • shorts (running)
  • shorts (street)
  • singlets
  • slippers
  • soap & towels
  • socks (running)
  • socks (street)
  • space blanket
  • stopwatch
  • stove & fuel
  • sun glasses
  • sun screen
  • sweatshirts
  • sweatsuits
  • tape (duct, medical)
  • Tevas
  • tights
  • toilet paper
  • underwear (running)
  • underwear (street)
  • vaseline
  • walkman & tapes
  • wet bags
  • zantac, alieve, salt
2. Things to do before leaving home:

  • buy food & ice
  • carbo load & hydrate
  • check for burrs in socks
  • fill & label drop bags
  • fill fanny pack
  • get gas & oil
  • phone pacer(s)
  • pin hanky on hat
  • remove jewelry
3. Things to do the day before the race:

  • band-aid nipples
  • go to briefing & weigh-in
  • carbo load & hydrate
  • deposit drop bags
  • gas up the car
  • pin on race #
  • plan with crew & pacer
  • set alarm clock
  • mix drink powder & fill water bottles
4. Things to do race day morning:

  • apply sunscreen, hydrocortisone, vaseline
  • check flashlight for start line
  • check stopwatch
  • eat & drink something
  • go to the toilet
  • check-in at start line
  • race # pinned on?
5. Things for crew to remember:

  • Got ice & bottled water for me?
  • Got food & drinks for crew?
  • Got gas?
  • Got alarm clock?
  • Get me in & out of aid stations quickly (ideally <5 minutes, max 10 minutes).
  • When you arrive at each aid station, check crew notes for things I will need there.
  • Arrange gear in car or on a mat so you can find things quickly.
  • Pre-mix and chill drinks if possible
  • Have 2 bottles + hand-strap bottle ready

Monday, August 4, 2014

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Protein Bars (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats, blended into a flour
  • 1 cup protein powder (I used a mild vanilla pea protein)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or use any nut butter of your choice)
  • 1 cup maple syrup (or use honey if you’d like)
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs
  1. Stir together oat flour, protein powder, sea salt and cinnamon.
  2. Add in peanut butter and maple syrup, stirring well to combine. Mixture will be rather thick and dry. Add in a splash of almond milk if necessary.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs, distributing evenly.
  4. Press the mixture into a wax paper-lined 9x13 pan, using a rolling pin on top to smooth if necessary.
  5. Place in freezer for about 10 minutes for bars to harden up. Remove and cut into 20 bars.
  6. To store: Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer in a container or air-tight bag.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New City Bike Map

We all know that runners and riders are close friends when it comes to the trails we use every day. When we can't enjoy the trails in the woods, we have to resort to trails or paths in town. I am very fortunate to live in a community that is bicycle friendly. That means more available trails or paths for runners as well. The City of Lawrence has just published a new map with the designated trails around town and it's a beauty.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Everyone jump on the protein bandwagon, quick! I keep trying to find healthy ways to increase my protein intake. Here's a good source.

  • 4 oz chicken breast – 25 grams
  • 4 oz hamburger – 20 grams
  • Glass of milk – 8 grams
  • Low fat yogurt  10 – 12 grams
  • Greek yogurt – 14-18 grams
  • 1 medium egg – 6 grams
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread – 6-10 grams
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter – 8 grams
  • Handful of almonds – 7 grams
  • Mozzarella cheese string – 6 grams

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Three Step Rx for Contentment

As prescribed by my doctor just a few months ago...Thank you, Dr. Park. 

1. Accept reality. Lower expectations.

Expectations can be some of the most powerful saboteurs of santosha. Expecting how a future experience will unfold is a recipe for disappointment: think Senior Prom or New Year’s Eve. Often our expectations of how an event will be and the reality of what is are on opposite sides of the spectrum. By setting expectations aside, we can actually be in the moment that is, not in some illusory notion of what should be. It’s a very cool and challenging practice and you just might notice yourself paying closer attention and seeing things you wouldn’t have noticed had you been looking for a fulfilled expectation. 

2. Think the good thought.

Obviously we do not have control over everything, in fact, we have very little control over what happens around us. It has become a bit of a cliché, but I have to say it anyway, no matter how out of control of a situation we may be, we do have control of our thoughts. You control your thoughts. Your thoughts do not control you. Notice where your mind goes. How often do you actually stop to acknowledge what you are thinking about? Pay attention to what you think about and if you are just thinking about something because you are in the habit of thinking about it. If your thoughts aren’t nourishing you and nurturing you, change your mind. Think the good thought. 

3. Be in the present moment.

When I am in the present moment, I am undoubtedly OK. Inevitably this moment will move into the next. No matter what this moment holds, it will change, it will ebb and it will flow. Everything is manageable in this present moment. It is all there really is, after all.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to be Tough as Nails Mentally for Your 100 Miler

Great Article here.

The mental game is everything in a 100 mile ultra marathon. I've done enough 100's to know that it is usually the mental piece that leads to a DNF or a poor performance or alternately, that leads to success & other positive outcomes. Here are several proven (by me of course) strategies for maximizing your mental potential in the Queen of Ultras, the 100 mile race:

1. Just make it to the Next Aid Station: Forget about thinking of a 100 miler in terms of 100 miles. Instead think only about getting to the next aid station. Chances are that as bad as you feel at any given moment you will admit that you can make it to the next aid station. This rule is all about staying present where you are and not letting your fears take over. It's very hard for the mind to grasp 100 miles, or even having another 30 miles to go when you've just done 70 miles, but it's as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.

2. Remember it's #2 Kind of Fun: In other words, it's the kind of fun that you will look back on and say, "Gee that was so much fun! I'm so glad I finished that race!" Despite being miserable as hell for 80 miles. As odd as this sounds, it's true that you will most likely look back on your experience with a certain fondness and a new appreciation for what your body is capable of. This rule is courtesy Richard K. who kindly explained to me the difference between Fun #1 and Fun #2 (Fun #1 is fun at the time of the event like having a beer with your buddies, in case you were wondering).

3. Have a Bad Memory: Or rather a selective memory. It's important not to stress out about your perceived shortcomings, especially ones that are based on past experiences. Be gentle with yourself about past DNF's and poor performances. In fact, just forget about them as negative events and instead mine them for the gems that they are. My first 100 miler was a pretty big disaster at least according to my goals at the time but I learned that I needed to train with gear I'd use in the race and to fuel more mindfully to avoid the dreaded 100 mile nausea.

4. Less is More: Set yourself up to succeed mentally in your 100 miler by not overtraining and by tapering properly. If you feel good for longer physically during the race, you'll be ahead of the game. In training it means that it's better to do less mileage than too much. For example, if you overload your body with 10-20 more miles a week than your body can adapt to, you are back tracking your training. If you'd done exactly the milage your body can handle you would hit that sweet spot where you are getting maximum benefits for maximum mileage. Here's the trouble with trying too hard to hit that perfect spot: we don't have any way of knowing exactly where that sweet spot is each week or day other than listening to our body and our intuition. That is why it's better to err on the side of fewer miles than too many. Cross training can help close that gap between doing too few miles and your sweet spot-- without stressing your body out in the same way that only running mileage does. That being said, you can also under train which can be disastrous in a 100 mile race. You want to be prepared and have your body ready to handle the stress of the race. 

5. Exercise Your Mental Muscles: I'd right out say just do yoga everyday, but I admit there are other mental-physical practices that will get you similar results. For me, yoga is perfect for honing my mental muscles as it combines physically difficult poses with flowing breath which activates deep calmness during extreme physical strain. I enjoy hot vinyasa power yoga as the heat adds another element of stress to the body, further challenging my mental fortitude. This heat is great for runners who find regular yoga to not be challenging enough or who need heat training for an ultra.

6. Strategic Visualization: We visualize things all the time. How often do we visualize exactly what we want? Leading up to your race take a little time each day, preferably after a meditation or yoga practice when you are relaxed, to visualize your race going exactly as you want it to. Be very detailed in your vision. During your race return to the vision when you find yourself moving into fear or visualizing negative events. I can't stress enough that this is the most important key to 100 mile mental success. If you only do one of these mental strengtheners, do this one. Well, on second thought do the breathing one too.

7. Breathe: This one is deceptively simple and it's often overlooked. Feeling overwhelmed during a race? Breathe. Getting overly negative? Breathe. Climbing 5,000 feet in 5 miles? Breathe. Breath calms the body and connects us with the present. Being present is the key to mental strength. I highly recommend a regular breathing practice like yoga as it trains you how to use the breath through movement, something you can't learn during a 100 miler, you must practice beforehand.

8. Eat and Hydrate Regularly: The brain and your mental will power will fail if you do not hydrate and fuel properly. It's not as simple as it sounds of course: 100 mile nutrition is an art and it varies for each individual. That being said, you'd be best off trying to figure out what works for you as a well fed body will deliver incredible results.

9. Make Friends: Put away your Ipod and start talking to the runners around you. There's strength in numbers and strength in sharing our joys, pain and suffering. Not only will the miles fly by but you'll make new friends. At Zion 100 this past weekend, I made more friends than I've ever made in a race and not so coincidentally, I had more fun than I've ever had in a 100 miler. Three of us got about an hour and a 1500 foot extra climb off course and instead of suffering by ourselves we made a pact to run the rest of the race together and through that friendship we were stronger than any one of us was alone. It was a powerful lesson in the magic of friendship and camaraderie. I also make an effort to say something encouraging to every runner I cross paths with, it reminds me to smile and I hope it gives them a little boost.

10. Smile: Even if you have to peel your lips up your face, do it. Smiling works: it activates the brain to begin to think more positively and amazingly it helps you actually feel like smiling. Plus, you'll surely entertain the runners around you with your clown grin.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Song of the Open Road

Song of the Open Road

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.

Here the profound lesson of reception, nor preference nor denial,
The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person, are not denied;
The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar’s tramp, the drunkard’s stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,
The escaped youth, the rich person’s carriage, the fop, the eloping couple,

The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back from the town,
They pass, I also pass, any thing passes, none can be interdicted,
None but are accepted, none but shall be dear to me.

You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings and give them shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.

You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!
You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides! you distant ships!

You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d façades! you roofs!
You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!
From all that has touch’d you I believe you have imparted to yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me,
From the living and the dead you have peopled your impassive surfaces, and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable with me.

The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?
Do you say Venture not—if you leave me you are lost?
Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and undenied, adhere to me?

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,
You express me better than I can express myself,
You shall be more to me than my poem.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all free poems also,
I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me,
I think whoever I see must be happy.

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me,
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear it would not amaze me,
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d it would not astonish me.

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Here a great personal deed has room,
(Such a deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,
Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law and mocks all authority and all argument against it.)

Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.

Here is realization,
Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,
The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

Only the kernel of every object nourishes;
Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?
Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

Here is adhesiveness, it is not previously fashion’d, it is apropos;
Do you know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers?
Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?

Here is the efflux of the soul,
The efflux of the soul comes from within through embower’d gates, ever provoking questions,
These yearnings why are they? these thoughts in the darkness why are they?
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood?
Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?
Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees and always drop fruit as I pass;)
What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver as I ride on the seat by his side?
What with some fisherman drawing his seine by the shore as I walk by and pause?
What gives me to be free to a woman’s and man’s good-will? what gives them to be free to mine?

The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,
Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged.

Here rises the fluid and attaching character,
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman,
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old,
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments,
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.

Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!
Traveling with me you find what never tires.

The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Allons! the inducements shall be greater,
We will sail pathless and wild seas,
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.

Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements,
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;
Allons! from all formules!
From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests.

The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer.

Allons! yet take warning!
He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance,
None may come to the trial till he or she bring courage and health,
Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself,
Only those may come who come in sweet and determin’d bodies,
No diseas’d person, no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted here.

(I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes,
We convince by our presence.)

Listen! I will be honest with you,
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d, you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you,
What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.

Allons! after the great Companions, and to belong to them!
They too are on the road—they are the swift and majestic men—they are the greatest women,
Enjoyers of calms of seas and storms of seas,
Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,
Habituès of many distant countries, habituès of far-distant dwellings,
Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,
Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,
Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of children,
Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers-down of coffins,
Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the curious years each emerging from that which preceded it,
Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse phases,
Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,
Journeyers gayly with their own youth, journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d manhood,
Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d, content,
Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,
Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,
Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.

Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys,
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, however long but it stretches and waits for you,
To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all without labor or purchase, abstracting the feast yet not abstracting one particle of it,
To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them, to gather the love out of their hearts,
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.

All parts away for the progress of souls,
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe.

Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.

Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go,
But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great.

Whoever you are, come forth! or man or woman come forth!
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.

Out of the dark confinement! out from behind the screen!
It is useless to protest, I know all and expose it.

Behold through you as bad as the rest,
Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,
Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash’d and trimm’d faces,
Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.

No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession,
Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,
In the cars of railroads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,
Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bedroom, everywhere,
Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones,
Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers,
Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself,
Speaking of any thing else but never of itself.

Allons! through struggles and wars!
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.

Have the past struggles succeeded?
What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? Nature?
Now understand me well—it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

My call is the call of battle, I nourish active rebellion,
He going with me must go well arm’d,
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions.

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detain’d!

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Spring Fever

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Hope I can score a pair of Skoras

Rumor has it that the Skora people are releasing a new shoe pretty soon, the Fit.

I talked to a customer service representative on the phone the other day and he advised me to be on the lookout for a new shoe that sounded right up my alley. It had the larger stack height but also used the laces, not the straps of the Base model with the current 13mm stack. I am looking for a beefier shoe that will last, but not weigh in at 5 pounds. Hopefully the Fit will fit the bill (pun intended). I just hope it comes in a different color. Here is a write-up at The Sneaker Report. And $95 retail is much better than the current $155 model.